Bernd Fesel

Deputy Director, European Centre for Creative Economy - ECCE
Dortmund, Germany

About Bernd

Bio

Bernd Fesel (born in 1962)
works as an independent policy advisor and event-organiser for the cultural and creative industries in Europe. Since 2009 Bernd Fesel is deputy director of the European Centre for Creative Economy, an institute of European Capital of Culture 2010, RUHR.2010.

He studied Economics and Philosophy in Heidelberg and Bonn from 1983 to 1990 and graduated with an economist degree. Bernd Fesel has been partner of the Gallery Karin Fesel since 1990. In 1995 he became working group member within the Federal Association of German Galleries (Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien - BVDG), from 1996 to 1997 he was board member of the BVDG, from 1997 to 2003 Managing Director. During this time he launched a presentation portal for German galleries (www.galerienindeutschland.de), organised the first online art fair with the support of the Deutsche Telekom and developed an educative CD-Rom on the art of the 60s, which was distinguished by the European Commission.

During this time he launched a presentation portal for German galleries (www.galerienindeutschland.de), organised the first online art fair with the support of the Deutsche Telekom and developed an educative CD-Rom on the art of the 60s, which was distinguished by the European Commission.

From 2000 to 2004 he was honorary spokesperson of the German Arts Council, the federal umbrella association of 20 arts federations. Since 2002 he has been board member of the German Council for Cultural statistics and from 2003 to 2005 chairman of the expert committee “Taxes” in the German Cultural Council.

In 2003 Bernd Fesel initiated the national conference on cultural industries in Berlin, which is organised every year in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, the German Council for Cultural Statistics and the German Cultural Council.

From 2005 to 2007 he is Secretary General of the Federation of European Art Gallery Associations in Brussels, which represents approx. 2.000 galleries all over Europe.

Bernd Fesel supervises the seminar serials “Strategies in the arts market” and occupies teaching positions at the Distance University in Hagen (since 2004), the Bonn University (2006), the University of the Arts in Berlin (2007/2008) and the private University Witten-Herdecke (2009)

Since 2007 Bernd Fesel is cooperation partner of the training programme „Management in the Art Market” at the Freie Universität in Berlin, the biggest advanced training centre in Germany. This is the first advanced training dealing with the arts market which closes with a certificate.

Languages

English, French, German

Areas of Expertise

Game Theory, Culture in Europe, Global Policies for Creative Industries

An idea worth spreading

Culture is not a luxury, but daily food.

Or to say it in the words of the nobel-price-winning economic game theory:
Culture generates positive external effects.

Taking this into account changes all most everything: urban development, social politics, migration, education and innovation.

More over: the economic games theory shows that this is no zero sum activity. Thus financing culture generates a return on investment.

To say it in other words: Do you know the value the MoMA brand contributes to the brand New York?

I'm passionate about

artists and creative ciites
social renewal by culture
convergence of TV and Web.

Talk to me about

1. art and culture projects to improve the life quality in difficult quarters of cities
2. creatting Bilbao effects everywhere
3. foreign correspondent status on www.2010lab.tv/en

People don't know I'm good at

finding simple solutions for complex challenges

Comments & conversations

92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?
What role plays Buddhism for you in this? Might the East see the divide of solitude and connection not so strictly yes / no? More like Ying and Yang? Maybe Sherrys arguments are all based on a very old fashioned west-western style of values and behaviour? Is a Buddhist lonely just because he meets nobody for years?
92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?
Did Nelson Mandela lost his empathy? Though he never received it in jail for decades! It is really difficult to argue with mono-causalities in the case of empathy. What about the ability to be honest in the internet? is it teaching it? or not ? I believe it depends on the detailed incentives in the internet - and the education of yourself.
92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?
Hearing the talk I got the strong impression that digital live in the US is quite different to Germany - no messaging in board meeting,s sports clubs, kitchens asf... I still hope that finally more Germans "live really online" - smile. Her arguments - love for power, control of details, automatic listeners, never alone - are all true, but they are human since long. You might argue that religion has been invited for this; others call it family - others again the UN. Isn´t this an old argument in a new form? Anxiety of being Controlled? If our species wants to develop we need to accept change - and solitude for elderly 100 years ago was not nice; it was about being poor and dying alone. solitude today is different as in history. We also have to accept that history must not be idealized to agrue against the present - conversations some 25 years or 250 years ago could leave just as well alone and helpless as a facebook account today. While I share sherry general ideal of balancing your life, I do not share her arguments.
92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?
Let us be fair - I know a lot of "human" teachers which are incompetent, in social relations and in knowledge. I can image many cases where a teacher robot would be an improvement. In Germany using computers in classrooms is mostly forbidden. maybe the teacher, never the kids. no one can look up in wikipedia or others sources information necessary for modern understanding....
92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
What role should arts institutions have in urban areas?
During the European Capital of Culture in 2010 in the Ruhr Metropolis (5,5 Mio. people, 25 by 55 kilometers) we had a separate department for migration culture - however it was not about doing events for migrants. The aim was to start production process for culture - visual art, theater, dance asf - which include the migrants as a creative culture producers; then it is no problem to mobilize visitors, but more important: longer lasting engagement and continuous exchange.... (from consumer to producers: this principle seems to apply here also?) You could also say Involve the kids in football, then the parents will come - and meet parents from other parts of town which they would not meet otherwise. One concrete idea: Reframe a Sunday as an "my-museum-day". every visitors is allowed to choose a picture from the depot which he loves - and which he wants to show others. These pictures are then presented within four weeks in a new exhibition arrangement in the museum. The visitors turns to be a part-time-curator - and of course he will mobilize all kinds of friends and this quarter to come and see..... how he has influence where he is usually a no name....
92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
Mark Raymond: Victims of the city
I tend to agree with Mark Thesis on formal and informal capital in cities - however: it does not apply to all cities alike, it depends on the different phases a city can be in. So studing cities and looking very locally and very site specific is important - this demands a lot time, but it is necessary to verify Marks victims.... We publish currently a series of blogs on urbanism in Istanbul. I hope this gives some further hints on the cultural creative software that makes the city work: http://www.labkultur.tv/en/partner/istanbul
92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
What role should arts institutions have in urban areas?
Novel roles of institutions in 50 years - in urban areas - are depending also on the state of the city today. Is it currently in a boom phase like many cities in China? Then those cities will experience a down-sizing and crisis - all growth is in cycles... unfortunately. In 25 years the today succesful cities might be not attractive any longer - just as New York some 20 years ago. If you image an ideal world - without ups and downs in business - I would ask for a more 360degree, a more holistic approach of art institutions to urbanism and its people. Today in Germany an art centers is not focusing, not even considering the progress of its quarter - it is solely fixed on producing art quality exhibitions. On top: In a world wih more and more social devide and migration backgrounds the arts are not self-sufficient anylonger. If the art institution do not open up, large parts of society will not value and love the arts. In Germany we just have a public debate on closing more than 8.000 cultural institutions - to much of the same, the critics say.
92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
What role should arts institutions have in urban areas?
I worked for a city development programme in Germany - through artists and art institutions. Mostly these cities have quarters with high unemployment (15 - 18%) and high migration (25 - 35%) - in a post-industrial region which could not built new industries like steel and coal. Just these problem quarters were the ones which attracted galleries and cinema and dance companies - strangely enough, but minus and minus add to a surplus and value added. I could not agree more as you wrote - adding formal to informal education; traditional to non-traditional knowledge - and I would add: top down city policy with crowd-sourced initiatives of locals. Here you can find the reports and films we did within the last two years on the projects in 7 cities: http://www.labkultur.tv/en/cultureincentive
92644
Bernd Fesel
Posted about 3 years ago
Are children ready to make decisions like adults?
Making decisions as an teenager is of course in another situation of an adult - this is common sense. Both persons are of course also making decisions about the future - it can not be avoided; it is everyday that you decide on your future - step by step. Unfortunately it is also common sense that the younger are less prepared to make "big" decision on the future - because they have less experience, f.e. ... However the adults should be so fair to acknowledge that experience does not prevent one from mistakes and wrong decision. It is a myth that one is getting wiser with age....you only get careful because the elder is weaker. So what is making decisions on the future about? It is a special decision - it is at the edge of our competences, of our safety and of our reality. For these decision one is never prepared - no matter what age. But is this a problem? I hope not!